Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the Bridge

the.bridge

I'm not sure what I was expecting. Taking her to school. I should have guessed what would have drummed up inside me ready to spill everywhere, leaving a trail of years and memories between here and Brooklyn. But I didn't see it coming, not all of it. I am very used to living in the present, but was shot out of a canon to the past. So many times over this past summer. Just shot towards her birth and the beginnings of all of us, the beginnings of Jeff and me. But being hurled past it in a rush of memories it is so hard to see it all the way you saw it then. You think it will last forever, and some days even wish away the difficult parts. Humans just don't know the blur it will become. I believe this to be by design. Inherent in our making. We couldn't handle the frailty of ourselves walking around, if we knew how fast.

Getting her settled, saying our goodbyes, it was bitter and sweet and beautiful and sad and perfect. We walked slowly back to our hotel with the sky threatening rain, my eyes threatening worse. We took a detour through Fort Greene to sit and take the walk as slow as possible. And it happened. The sky sobbed. I rained. And we were stuck, under the shelter of the visitor's center. We are after all, only visitors. We waited for it to stop. Waited. Waited. Didn't bother to verbalize much of what we were already feeling in perfect synchronicity. Fearing we would miss our flight, after waiting as long as we could there, and with no change in the weather, we decided to drown down the hill in a rush of water and emotion, getting utterly soaked.

At the hotel we made a quick grab of our suitcases, while the taxi waited, and headed to La Guardia. Not much conversation, but an unusually talkative cabbie who asked us all about our family, was shocked we had a daughter old enough to be in college, further shocked that we had 5 waiting at home, and I wasn't in the mood for any of it. "I like you two", he kept saying. "Children are God's greatest blessing" he said. And I. Was not in the mood for conversation. I was definitely not in the mood to hear that all the crying the sky had done delayed our flight by an hour. Two hours. Four hours, so now we'll miss our connecting and be stuck in Baltimore. Cancelled. So now here we are. Rush back to her? See if she wants to skip orientation and hang out one more night with her parents? No. Stuck. Floating in a sea of rain and utter sadness. It was calling to mind something, a memory, I couldn't place what.

Then the waiting. We couldn't get out of New York for another whole day later. I needed the intoxicating hugs of the rest of my brood. I wanted to cry into Roman's bewildered but willing little neck. We poured into a nearby hotel. The room was freezing and the only thing that I could do was crawl into the bed. I didn't move for hours. Didn't even shift. Just Jeff and I there. Waiting for the hours to go by. Jeff went to get us food. Went to get us water. I slightly laughed at a movie or two, but mostly just laid there, out of body. Looking around inside my new self at how it looked and couldn't see much that made me happy without her. I dozed off around 1am. Woke up around 3am. And was arrested again by the familiarity of this set of circumstances. Trying to get somewhere, but getting stuck twice, once in the rain, once at the airport, then the all night waiting. Jeff. Me. And searching. Looking for her precious smile in my mind.

And then remembering.

We were 19. Unmarried, and unexpectedly expecting. Expecting Juliana. We had chosen adoptive parents. It seemed like a good idea at my age and we could continue the paths we had begun. She could continue with an eager family who was prepared for her. Had been praying for her.

We went to the hospital in labor, lawyers, parents, everyone, waiting in the wings. My labor stopped after I got there. We got stuck. Then sent away. We went again, a second time, to the hospital in full labor, which after an hour of convincing everyone around me that it was the real thing, decided to stop in its tracks. On the way home, I realized it wasn't a mistake. It was her, begging to be mine. My body would not give her up, even if my mind already had. I called off the adoption. Then the third time in labor, we decided to wait it out at home. Jeff. Me. And searching. Looking for her precious smile in my mind. For a whole day. And then, the third time, she was ours.

So there it was, in the middle of the night (a Sunday night after 3 am, quite near how she was born) at a hotel in Astoria, New York, raining, I was granted the memory to answer the nagging something that I was recalling. We brought her, again into a world. This time she is her own.

This past June just she and I went to Brooklyn to get a feel for it, and just enjoy some time together for four days. Really, the trip of a lifetime. We did nothing special, we didn't have to. On the last night, we took in a French film in a small theater in Soho. Leaving Manhattan into the wee hours of the morning, those cabbies fly. It is funny, how fast, and like a roller coaster. As we approached the Brooklyn Bridge, I thought, there it is: the bridge between where she is now and where she will be at the end of the summer. The summer: the bridge that will give us our last childhood days with her. We were so tired, barely spoke, but both obviously enjoyed the coolness that had cloaked the city after a hot day, windows down, our hair whipping everywhere. Then as we encountered the stretch across the water, I was flooded with memories of her as a baby, a toddler, her bubbly face, her beginnings, the she that almost wasn't mine, and I fought back tears. I couldn't believe we were about to reach her soon-to-be-home, just on the other side of the bridge. Rushing through the lights and under and over the architecture , I was looking back in time deep inside of me. Then I heard her say it, and I couldn't believe it. She said, like a little child, filled with excitement, "Mom, look back!"

I am! I thought, screamed, inside my head, in wonderment at the moment. How did she know?

I looked away from my side window where I was hiding some tears, that thankfully were quickly being licked up by the wind, to see her looking through the back of the taxi at the lights of Manhattan. They flickered through the thousands of suspension cables in the most mesmerizing way, like a dance. Like a filmstrip of life gone by. She was suspended there on the bridge. The thought of it is suspended forever in my mind.

And I am, more than I am anything, grateful.

To quote a cabbie, "Children are God's greatest blessing"

xoxoAnnaMaria

359 comments:

  1. Oh my - such a beautiful post!

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  2. Stephanie9:38 PM

    Just beautiful and brought me to tears. My girls are almost 10 and 8 now and lately I've felt time speeding up and myself helpless to slow it down. Good luck with this next phase of motherhood.

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  3. You always make me rain.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful in every way.

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  5. Lindsey R.9:39 PM

    This is the most beautifully illustrated post! I am typing with tears running down my face.

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  6. what an amazingly heartfelt and beautiful post. your daughter is beyond lucky. she is blessed, as are you.

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  7. well now. good lord, that settles it. i'm never letting my boys leave.

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  8. Oh, I'm crying. Mine are still little, but they grow up and away too fast.

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  9. as the hours approach as we bring our 5th child, and second daughter into the world, i am speechless at the thought of doing what you had to do. this is by far, the most amazing post i have ever read. tears. wow.

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  10. This by far the best post I have read in quite some time. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life experiences with us. You truly are a very blessed family.

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  11. what an amazing post. and there's so much i can relate too--especially the whole thing about how your mind remembers things differently and how some days you just wish would end, but when you think back about the same time it's so special. i totally get that.
    beautiful.

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  12. wow, I just got all choked up reading this. Your writting was so vivid I thought for a second I was the one sending my first born off to college. It may be important to note that I have yet to actually have children of my own yet, and that still got me. Beautiful!

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  13. Such a beautiful post- heartwrenching and somewhat familiar- I am feeling so sad sending my daughter to kindergarten, I cannot imagine the day you have experienced!!!

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  14. So beautiful! I read often and have never commented before. I just have to say how much I love that you're willing to share such beautiful glimpses into your life with your readers. From a fellow mom of many, children really are God's greatest blessing!

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  15. I am a single mom, lately wishing away the time so that my life is a little less hectic than it is now with three kids and no father to rely on...thank you for giving me some perspective. I needed it.

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  16. you are an amazing mother and I am glad i had the opportunity to meet your sweet daughter many years ago in that sweet store "The Handmaiden." I miss that store!

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  17. Oh my heart. My daughter just started kindergarten and my heart was breaking over that. Your post, so beautiful and so close to my heart.

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  18. crying. remembering that they are their own, even from the beginning... we only have them in our care for a short while. we love them to set them free... thank you...

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  19. so so beautiful. thank you for sharing such dear thoughts about your amazing family. you are such a wonderful spirit--peace be with you.

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  20. Anonymous9:58 PM

    My deepest thanks for sharing this post. So beautiful. My two little girls are respectively three years old and ten months old, and already I feel like the time is flying. How are we supposed to bear it - this growing up?? Much love to you, Anna Maria, in this time of change and new beginnings for your family.

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  21. The first one to leave the nest was my hardest. I had many of the same sort of up and down emotions, seeing him All At Once as the kindergartener he was, to the young man he'd become, so ready to leap off into the world. I wept, too, and it went on for many days. My husband said we were beginning to undo all that we had done. Sobering. The rest weren't so hard as that one, and while I did cry when we dropped off the last at his college dorm, it wasn't as heart-rending as the first.

    But now, that same first son lives within an hour's distance of us and we see his two little boys quite often. They run and jump into my arms when they come to our house and the oldest (age 6) pats my back as he lays his head on my shoulder and gives me a hug. The emptiness gets filled with little things like this: patting hugs, dancing with the boys to Christmas songs, scrawled pictures on the fridge. They all are echoes of the father, these little sons, and it is a wonder that I ever survived all the sad times, happy times, poignant times, to warrant these joys.

    Hang in there. Give your girl her courage and cheer her on, like you always do.

    Your post is a treasure. Thanks.

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  22. Up late finishing up a pleated pocket, and reading this post was a lovely way to end the evening. Love to you and your family.

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  23. I'm choking back sobs reading this post. I know that all too soon I will be in the same place and I am not looking forward to it. Not at all.

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  24. missy g.10:08 PM

    so beautiful and real: there are no words.

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  25. Oh goodness. Your story is so so similar to mine that it gave me chills. My first girl is in Los Angeles for college. She's back in the place where she and I started and it's so hard but so right. Hugs, mama. You done good.

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  26. Yes, I am crying. Just plain hormonal me crying about my pubescent girl and all her drama upstairs in bed. Oh thank you! I think I need to go hug her now.

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  27. You'll both be okay, but the tugging is painful.

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  28. I have commented here in the same way before, but you and your family are so blessed to have one another. What a beautiful post and what an inspiring mother...

    Good luck at College Juliana!

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  29. Oh, the memories you brought back for me! Leaving my firstborn, my daughter, at her dorm... seeing her waving from her window as we drove away... and crying nearly the whole 4-hour drive home. But God has brought so many wonderful things into her life in the 16 years since, including a husband that I couldn't have hand-picked better for her myself! It's so hard letting go, but the future is filled with bright promises!

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  30. Such beautiful words. My long awaited, much prayed and begged for girl is only 10 months and already I feel the time slipping away so quickly. It's all so beautiful, wonderful, and sometimes bittersweet. :)

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  31. After reading your post, I looked in on my 2 year old son sleeping and thought "only 16 more years" - I'd better treasure each day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

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  32. Beautifully put! I hope Juliana has an amazing time and college and for momma sake, calls home often!

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  33. Sending you much love+((hugs)). I know how hard this is. For those who experience it, it's a very heart- wrenching-anguish-joy. The knowing you need to let them go, the instinct to hold on. I'm off to cry now....Beautiful post<3

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  34. K. Gale10:25 PM

    Beautiful words. Now MY eyes are raining. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Hope you're holding up. So glad you kept that sweet baby girl. Such moving, real, emotional, honest writing. Thanks for sharing, Anna Maria!

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  36. beautiful beyond words. thank you for sharing.

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  37. Anonymous10:43 PM

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  38. I don't have any children, but I was so moved by this post! I can't stop thinking about it. I felt like I was with you each step of the way through your journey. You must feel so proud of Juliana and proud of yourself too!

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  39. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  40. Oh my--posts like these should have mandatory Kleenex warnings. I'm sobbing, and starring this post so I can read it when I need to be reminded how quickly time slips by. This was beautiful; thanks for sharing!

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  41. Anonymous11:29 PM

    That was lovely. I wish my mother loved me like that.

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  42. I'm not a crier but I let out a much needed one reading your words. What a blessing to hurt because you have loved so greatly. You touched so many memories of leaving my sister at college, missing my Mom, loving my family, thinking about the future. These words are a beautiful gift to your daughter who instinctively knew not to let her Mother go.

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  43. Thank you for sharing. I am so very glad you listened to what your body was telling you by keeping her. I was adopted by the best parents ever but what I would still give to have been their biological child. What an amazing post.

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  44. Thanks for sharing. I had a little tear in my eye. Your daughter is so incredibly fortunate to have parents who support her in an art degree.

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  45. I rained too reading this. Beautiful, on so many levels. Hugs.

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  46. Thanks for sharing such an intimate, emotional time with us. Your family is beautiful. I can't imagine what it's like to see a child off to college, but I know as a college student myself: Life is definitely different after you leave home. You learn and grow and change, but your mother is always always there in the back of your mind. I'm sure she misses you as much as you miss her, no matter how excited she might also be about her new life. I know I did. It just took me a while to realize it. ;)

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  47. Oh my. It seems I am so far from this moment that you so beautifully share. Yet, it will also be on my doorstep so soon, so soon. Thank you for sharing such a precious experience and making it real for all of us who feel it is so far away. You write so well, so beautifully. Thank you.

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  48. It's nine years off yet, still I found myself weeping, reading this, for when my Jane will fly away. I know I will hold my children closer tomorrow because of your beautiful words. Thank you for writing them.

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  49. Beautiful beautiful story, all the best to your family, going to snuggle my 3.5 year old and my 9 month old, thanks for the perspective.

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  50. What a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing. Memories have a way of slapping us in the face.

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  51. Oh my goodness. Lovely, and heart-wrenching.

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  52. So heartfelt, deep emotion, with an open heart on your sleeve. I am blissfully, tearful as my heart desires to become a mom, and am thankful that blissfully you are happy to be a mom, and yet torn for having to send them to the world on their own. You are amazing and you made that correct choice at age 19 by following the path of what your daughter's needs were, she will always want to be with you even when you are apart.

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  53. Simply beautiful expression. From a new mom, thank you for sharing.

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  54. OK sister, now I'm sobbing. Beautiful. Every last word. Thank you.

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  55. wow.
    lucky mama.
    lucky daughter.

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  56. I don't know if you have any idea how much your posts effect your readers! Your 'mom' posts are amazing. I'm sitting here all teary-eyed (and of course my two year old wakes up needing a cuddle). Your heartfelt, beautiful writing is so inspiring to me, working with my first of hopefully a housefull of kids. I hope your daughter gets to read your blog too. ...as for me, my mom mailed me the sappiest card ever - at the post office down the street from my college. :)

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  57. PS - I forgot to add... could we love and respect you any more than we do right now? Probably not. Thanks for sharing!

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  58. Your posts often bring me to the point of tears. Tonight, my eyes are indeed raining. Beautifully written. It couldn't have been easy to share from such depths, but thank you for doing it!

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  59. Very well written.

    I have just one, a miracle child, the doctor called him, and I know I have been greatly blessed!!

    Love and luck to you and yours.

    Sona

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  60. Lovely. You write as well as you design. Since you are my favorite designer, this is saying something. :) And I love NYC. May your girl be happy there. God bless you and yours.

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  61. Anonymous1:31 AM

    for both of you , one word SKYPE !!!!!

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  62. Thank you for blessing us with that lovely story. Children are a blessing and letting go in stages is hard. I used to teach Preps and watching the Mum's let go was hard...there are lots of bridges we need to cross in our lives.
    Thank you for sharing that one.

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  63. You made me cry today. Thank you for sharing that beautiful and personal story.

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  64. I got so emotional. My daughter is now 17 and moving out next year. Time has passed so quickly, oh my. I'm afraid to ask her about her childhood memories as I only tend to see my incompetence and faults as a mother and a parent. It rained at this end of the online a good while after reading this.

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  65. How touching and so very true.
    Every time you have a child its like you are given a handfull of wet sand...
    As time goes by the sand dries and it gets harder to hold on to especially the harder you try, but when you hold it carefully most of it will stay there!
    In danish we say that children are only on loan.
    Sad but true - and mature people often tell you that, but it is so hard to realize it your self.

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  66. que la vie est belle ! merci à toi

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  67. Your post moved me to tears today. I am at the beginning of our family, expecting my first and I already have concerns about how difficult it will be to let go one day. Your post also brought memories of the day my parents left me behind at university and then later on at the airport when I left South Africa for a new life in England, not knowing it will be a permanent move as I was to meet and fall in love with a wonderful Irishman. I wish you all the best on this journey. xx

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  68. Such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing you've really moved me.

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  69. Up late working with some of your gorgeous fabric, and popped in to read this. Touched my heart so much, thank you for that. A great reminder to always be thankful for our paths and where they take us.

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  70. Anna Maria,

    I would like to buy your book, but the shipping price to Switzerland is so expensive. Do you know if/where I can find it in Europe?

    Thanks,
    Vivian

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  71. what a beautifully captured moment in time. thank you.

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  72. I just asked DH to pass me a tissue. My heart goes out to you sweetie.
    BTW I just love your new fabric range :)
    Janelle xx

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  73. Belinda5:50 AM

    Dear Anna Maria,
    I was very moved by this beautiful post. I look forward to reading all your posts.
    This was very helpful fo me today as i have had one of those days you want to rush through with my four children. Thanks for helping me to stop, slow down and concentrate on really loving them.
    Thanks so much for your honesty.
    Belinda

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  74. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  75. oh. WOW.
    This made me cry, and I don't even have kids! You have such a way with words. I love this!

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  76. so true, so beautiful...you are one strong mama for sure.

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  77. sob....thank you....

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  78. I love, love, love when you write! What amazing lives and stories we all have - I am thinking about my own kids and how quickly we have become good friends - how quickly they become their own - and how quickly time passes. Everyone always said that when they were babies and I hated it - but I think it's more a reflection for them.... Walking to the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time this summer I love your analogy... all the best...xo

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  79. Oh my goodness. It's 7:30am. My husband just left for work. I'm sipping coffee waiting for my 13 month old baby girl to wake for the day. If someone could see me right now they'd think I'm crazy, crying by myself while looking at the computer :o) I love your posts!

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  80. I don't even HAVE kids, and I'm crying! It made me think of the days my mother brought me to college (what feels like a hundred years ago). The excitement- uncertainty we were most definitely both feeling. I'm so in love with my mom, I think if children are God's greatest blessing, then mothers must be angels.

    Beautiful post!

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  81. Beautiful! So touching! I'm crying at the thought of my oldest leaving and he is only 5 :).

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  82. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Just beautifully written! I have two young girls myself. my Isabella and Julieann are still so young, 3 and 4.... but I treasure every moment and could feel your thoughts and pain and happiness in your post. You should be proud of yourself... your Juliana...your family!

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  83. wow. I am holding back the tears. My oldest starts college next week, but thankfully she's staying near home.

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  84. My little one is only 18 months, but I am already painfully aware of the days whizzing by - where did the time go? I wonder. It may be weird for a stranger to say, but I'm proud of you- of the way you write and share your experiences and your family without all the sugar-coating that makes the reader wonder if you're real. You are real. She is lucky to have great role models...and I'm sure she knows it. Best of luck for a wonderful school year and great visits with her in NY.

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  85. a magnificent love...

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  86. Such a beautiful post. I remember a time not so long ago too, being sat down by a woman who is now my mother-in-law, being asked to discuss adoption ... And now she's almost 11. And there are four others! And he and I are still together. The blessings have rained down on our lives, literally poured. Children are God's greatest gift. He seems to have many surprises up his sleeve :)

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  87. You have put to paper much of what I have been feeling. My oldest daughter is also going off to college on Saturday. Like your daughter, another beautiful young woman with so much hope and promise. I feel I am holding back a flood of tears and emotion. Thank you for your thoughts and best wishes to Juliana

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  88. Beautiful post. My sister almost gave up her daughter but decided later to keep her. We are thankful every day she is in our lives! I know sometimes there is no other option but I'm glad our family had the opportunity to know her and love her.

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  89. Anonymous7:43 AM

    Thank you! Mine starts kindergarten tomorrow! They are His greatest blessings!

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  90. ohmigosh! And mine is just heading off for jr. high. You said it all so perfectly. sniffle, sniffle!

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  91. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences...

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  92. Heartbreaking. I have a six year old and a two year old; your post reminds me to be grateful today. Thank you.

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  93. Crying! What a beautiful post and tribute to your daugther.
    Karla

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  94. I don't know what to say...Nothing I can see seems to be worthy of what you're going through. I will only say that we have just begun this process...I just sent my oldest (of three) to Kindergarten, and it just about killed me. I have no idea HOW I'll survive sending her to college, except that I will have to, and so it will happen, someway, somehow...

    But you and the cabbie are right. Children are God's greatest blessing. He even told us so.

    "The fruit of the womb is God's reward."

    God bless you and your beautiful family. It does my heart good to see a family that seems so happy and full of love for each other, just as it should be.

    Thank you for your blog. :)

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  95. That was beautiful! You're very brave to share your heart. :)
    Vivienne x

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  96. Ah darn it, you made me cry first thing this morning. Said so beautifully!

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  97. Beautiful. She's as lucky to have you as you are her...

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  98. What a beautiful post. What a beautiful life. You are an amazing mom.

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  99. laura8:21 AM

    absolutely beautiful.

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  100. Brought me to tears. My baby is almost three and I already have to stop myself from thinking about the day his daddy and I drive him to college. Thank you for choosing life for Juliana, and for being her mother.

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  101. Anonymous8:31 AM

    God is so good! My oldest also just started college and my youngest just started kindergarten. Life is a wheel and the tears keep it moving. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  102. Okay. I'm sobbing. Big o' baby sobbing. This hits too close to home. For, I know, the years pass quickly. And, I know- guiltily, that I've wished some rough days/ weeks away once or twice. But, here I am, on the last day before my third child enters kindergarten, on the shore of a new season. The past years are treasures that fill my head while the new things that hold promise are waiting to jump in and have their turn. Whew.

    God knew that you'd listen to your daughter telling you she was always yours. This moment, this sadness, is the privilege for those who got to be called Mom and Dad. Congratulations and condolences all at once; you appear to have done a great job!

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  103. so so beautifully written, so so moving.... I was going to take my kids to watch Toy Story 3 this afternoon, I think I'll postpone...!

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  104. This is turning out to be the week of "things so beautiful they make me cry." Fitting, as what started it was Iris DeMent's song "Our Town" and now this post. Thanks for starting my morning off right :)

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  105. Brilliant! So you can write too:) Thank you for this post.

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  106. I read your blog and have never left a comment until now. Beautifully written! What a journey you have taken us on and I thank you for your honesty, for baring your soul to us.

    She was meant for you and your husband.

    xo
    Claudia

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  107. beautiful. Thank you for sharing that story.

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  108. Great post - I live in a college town so last week we saw many parents making the same transition. I hope the potential adoptive parents got their baby eventually.

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  109. Wow - what a post. Thank you. I've got tears in my eyes now and I'll head back to the other room to enjoy some more time with my children.

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  110. What a beautiful post, brought me to tears this morning...

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  111. You have a way with words. Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

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  112. PatyZ from Mexico8:59 AM

    Oh Ana Maria you made me cry... My oldest will go to college very soon. There is a popular saying that goes like this: "Our children are just borrowed from God for a short time". But you know, they will always come back, they will be different, they will return as young adults. They will always return where they started and will always feel in their hearts where HOME is. You just have to open their wings so that they return.
    Jeff and you made an excellent job, be proud of it. Good luck!

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  113. We spend all this time hoping we've prepared them to be on their own, but the actual letting go...whew. From what you've shared here, I have no doubt your girl will be just fine. And mama, so will you! Many blessings to your family as you make your way through the transition.

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  114. wow. your words are beautiful.

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  115. That was so beautiful. I am pregnant with twins right now - closer to the day that I myself was dropped off for college than the day I will drop these babies off at school. And still, I sat at my desk at work and wept at the thought of someday having to do this very thing with these babies. And have I mentioned I still don't even know if they're boys or girls? What a beautiful story - thanks for sharing!!

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  116. Thank goodness the tissues are on my desk!

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  117. Smiling and crying - thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Best wishes to your daughter.

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  118. This has obviously hit a chord with many...and with me as well.
    My five have all flown the nest, but that first one...oh, the emotion of it. I recall so very well.
    When she married a year later, I was even less prepared for the finality.
    Thank you for such a lovely post.
    Brought back so many memories.
    *sigh*

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  119. Anonymous9:39 AM

    I have never been so compelled to comment on a blog before. Thank you for sharing the very beautiful story of your life with your daughter. I don't know you, but I trust that you have prepared her for this world better than most. Thank you.

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  120. Thank you for sharing this. It was beautiful!

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  121. At a loss for words, but compelled to say something. lots of love and good wishes. :)

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  122. I am bawling my eyes out. My oldest is but 13 and already I'm realizing that I can't snatch up these memories fast enough....they sift through my fingers before I can catch them.

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  123. this is the most beautiful post, anna. my little ones are little but my heart felt every single ounce of heartache, longing, excitement and joy you wrote of. so beautiful in every way. warmly, s

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  124. A lovely story: such honest emotion, beatutifully written. You words create such strong pictures and I can see and feel your experience in such an amazing way. Thank you. Obviously Julianna has your artist's soul also to see the beauty in the world around us. I admire your ability to believe the signals when the universe delivers them - that you are present enough to read and receive them.

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  125. What is she studying?

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  126. beautifully written! thank you for sharing your (and her) story!
    Children are such a blessing!!

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  127. :'( Your write as beautifully as you design. You are so talented and blessed. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  128. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful & personal part of your life.

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  129. I've been peeking at your blog each day since taking my youngest to college, knowing that you were making this journey and would be able to express these sentiments so much more elegantly than I ever could. Thank you!

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  130. Every parent, every mother who has let go of her child to a new chapter in his/her life, shares your sentiments. You are not alone and you are about to come to know your child as the greatest friend and your proudest accomplishment. Cry, tears of sadness and joy, it helps.

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  131. I remember fighting for my right to party with my son. Wow!!! you just blew my mind.

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  132. Laurie10:52 AM

    touching*lovely*crying
    I have a daughter of my own that i left at college two years ago. That was the hardest thing to do, let go.

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  133. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Leaving for college is such an emotional time, for both mama and her little one. I'm 25 and don't have any kids but this post definitely made me cry and call my mom! For my mom and I this was the most difficult time we went through together. I don't think it's ever easy for a mother to let her baby bird spread her wings...and it's often very scary to be that baby bird learning to fly!

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  134. What a gorgeous post that of course left me in tears. My daughter is nearly three years old and I will admit to some relief that the college days seem far away from us right now. Thank you for your beautiful words...what an example you are as a mother, and artist, and a writer.

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  135. That. was. beautiful. My first was also unexpected, but I'm so grateful for her and the path God put me since. She's a teen now and sometimes it's hard and I long for it to be over. Thanks for this post. I will try to be more patient and love all the moments I have with her - even the tough ones. :)

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  136. Shannen11:18 AM

    Anna
    You have such a way with words. Beautiful is the word that comes to mind after just reading your latest story. Thank you for the reminder that they grow fast I will be sure to stop and get on the floor with the kids today and play:) . Bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing this moment with all of your loving fans.

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  137. You are an exquisite writer. That was beautiful.

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  138. This post caught me off guard this morning! Beautiful and touching and honest. Thank you for the warning :) ... I'll be in that spot in 16 years.

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  139. What a beautiful from the heart authentic post. I know that your life has been greatly blessed by the decision that you made to hold onto your baby girl. Now, you have had to make the decision to let her spread her wings...always though your hold her in your mother's heart.
    May God bless your family and watch over your sweet child as she starts on her new venture.

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  140. Beautiful. Gave me flashbacks to when my daughter was just born and the basinet at the foot of the bed felt too far away, after having her in my belly for so long.

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  141. Now, that's a special story. I am so happy I don't have to write my version for another 6 years. Thanks AM.

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  142. I went through this too with all my children. Childhood is gone in a blink of an eye. The good side of it all is that they come back with a wife or husband and your grandchildren and everything is wonderful again. Just enjoy each moment and love your loved ones with all your heart. We are none of us guaranteed tomorrow anyway.

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  143. Beautiful, You have such a way with words, Your words transparently written for us all to FEEL Your emotions. Thank you

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  144. my twins, my only, are done with high school, and about to embark (I hope) on "real life".
    too soon, but also not soon enough.
    and I will be alone, completely.
    can I trade you? just for a little while?

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  145. I am overwhelmed by your courage to open your life to us and give us the chance to share in your experience.

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  146. Tears in my eyes and a knot in my tummy....thanks for sharing such a lovely, personal sentiment. Children are a blessing!

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  147. One of the most beautiful pieces about the parent-child relationship that I've ever read. Just as I finish and am crying my eyes out, my 12 y.o. son zips by my door and yells out, "What time is it, Mom?" ~ his voice fading as he flies down the stairs. The coincidence of the 'blur' you described struck me. Too fast.... Thank you for sharing.

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  148. I cried as I read this, it was so touching. Thank you so much for sharing such a bittersweet moment, opening my eyes a bit to what lays ahead for my two, and making me appreciate what we have now and slow down.

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  149. I got to the 3rd or 4th sentence, and couldn't read anymore as I thought of my oldest starting high school yesterday. And the thought of dropping her off somewhere in 4 years. I'll go back up to the top of this post when the tears stop rolling down my cheeks. Curse your fabulous writing skills, Anna.
    Much love,
    Bari

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  150. Amazing. Can't stop the tears and my own flood of memories. Thank you.

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  151. Oh my. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  152. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Thank you for sharing all of your many gifts and blessings.

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  153. This was a beautiful post that has left me in tears. My oldest, a daughter, is 11. The time gas already been going so fast.

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  154. Bernadette12:45 PM

    Just.lovely.

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  155. Crying...So beautiful...Thank you for sharing your life with us!

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  156. Count me in on the cryers. This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the reminder. My son just started first grade and my daughter is two and napping in the other room. Some days it's so crazy I just want them to go to bed. This parenting thing can be really *hard*. But thanks for the reminder that I'll be dropping them off at college in no time. Good thing I have lots of time to prepare myself.

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  157. Lovely. Thank you.

    ~ Mother Of A College Freshman

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  158. So unbelievably touching. How bittersweet it must be for you and your husband to have children spanning that spectrum of life... the roots and the wings.

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  159. Megan1:23 PM

    I think what is amazing about this tome from you is the universal mothering ache you perfectly described. You know, the one that is present at each birthday, each trip to the attic with the last baby thing, each artwork carefully folded up and put into a Keepsake drawer, each school picture no matter how awful the teeth look-- It is this deep heaving bosomy thing that makes us feel so very empty from our womb outward and yet is just seeringly beautiful. Thank you for your universal piece here. You should write, too!

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  160. Such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  161. What an amazing story! I'm so glad it turned out this way.

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  162. Here's a thought I heard recently, "Making the decision to have a child--- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ~Elizabeth Stone

    I understand exactly how you feel...only it was 3 years ago....lots of love to you :) Pam in Chico

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  163. So breathtaking.
    Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us.
    I pretty much lost all self control at 'It was her, begging to be mine."
    You daughter is so lucky to have such a wonderful woman like you in her life!

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  164. so I take it your daughter is going to my alma mater Pratt! I had such an amazing experience there- and since it was in the 80's its not the same as it used to be- its probably more safe now!! I have many fond memories hanging out at the Alibi and I am sure your daughter will be going there as well!!

    Good luck to her!

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  165. Aw, praying for you during this time of transition. Also made me think, wah, my oldest is 6 and that's a mere 10 yrs before he can drive, and on and on. Gave him and the rest of the brood an extra big hug today. :)

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  166. So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this. My brain knows how fast it goes but this is a beautiful reminder to enjoy each stage, each season with my girls. You brought tears to my eyes as I'm sitting here counting down this last week until my oldest, my first born begins her own journey into kindergarten. It is funny how the emotions are so similar yet so different.

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  167. Anonymous2:58 PM

    As a mom with a two year old right now, wishing these days away full of tantrums and tears, thank you for the reminder of how fast it goes. But more importantly, just how sweet it all is.

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  168. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing such a touching, bittersweet story. Totally crying! Ugh. Why must motherhood, with all its joys, be also so inherently painful.

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  169. what a moving, touching post!

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  170. Beautiful, so beautiful! You are such a wonderful mom!

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  171. sacha3:28 PM

    That was an amazing post- thank you for sharing it. I love the way that you described Juliana as starting so many things for you- your marriage, your family... My little boy just started Kindergarten and my little girl is going to preschool two mornings a week. After five years of always having one child (or both) with me, I had three hours by myself. It was strange-- I can't imagine how much more emotionally back-looking it will be when they are 18 and really setting off on their own.

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  172. lovely, so very lovely. Thank you

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  173. I came to your blog because I love your fabric. I stay because your blog has a wonderful heart.

    Thank you for today's post. Wonderful.

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  174. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Hugs to you - so beautiful. Reminds me when I watched from the porch swing 2 of my daughters leave our home - one after her marriage and the other on her way to college and feeling so sad, happy, proud and empty all at the same time.

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  175. What a beautiful post. I am speechless.

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  176. Anonymous4:15 PM

    That was beautiful!! I remember feeling the same way when we took our son to college for the first time(he's now a senior!) I was sooo over come by emotions that I wasn't expecting and I too cried on the way home. I still cry when we leave him. Today was my daughter's first day of Jr. High so it is all starting again. I don't think you are ever ready or prepared. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  177. this mama's heart is weeping and yet full of joy for you, for her. life is so amazing and so bittersweet. this post was pure poetry.

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  178. AM -- such a beautiful post. I grew up in Brooklyn and my entire family is still there, so if Juliana is ever in need of a home cooked Italian meal (the BEST!) and the welcome of a mother, just let me know. My mom would love the company!

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  179. Lesley H4:40 PM

    Bless you real big for sharing such a personal and precious story. Hugs to you.

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  180. Anonymous5:38 PM

    My sister sent me this since I talked to her this morning and shared with her that my daughter is leaving Friday for her second year of college in NY and that my heart actually aches. It hurts. I already suspected this post cause me to rain. It feels like life passes at the speed of light when we look back but is slow as a snail when we live it! Make memories with them, savor them, hug them! This was beautifully written. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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  181. thanks for sharing...it will get easier...

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  182. oh my goodness- tears are running down my face...beautiful! Thank you for sharing yourself with us :-)

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  183. This was a very touching post. Thank you for sharing, as my baby was pulling everything out of drawers today, it made me realize how fleeting these moments are.

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  184. that is one of the most beautiful blog posts ever.

    Many blessings to you and your girl.

    (and of course I'm crying with you!)

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  185. beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  186. So beautifully expressed. Even I'm crying.

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  187. beautiful. Sometimes the thought of what almost was is terrifying... I'm so happy for you that your body got through to your mind

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  188. Thank you for this most beautiful reminder! (My oldest daughter is away visiting her grandmother right now.) This brought tears to my eyes...they are so precious! May you be blessed with faith that she is being watched over in her new beginning.

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  189. i am a monsoon right now.

    i am relating by the way of my oldest (of three) going to kindergarten. i was a mess. and i was the only one who was a mess. i felt like a fool...and maybe a little crazy. why aren't other people so proud that it will turn them into ... a monsoon???

    oh well. i do not envy the void you're feeling, but you must be so filled with pride. for her and yourself. and by now your glass is 3/4 full and you are one step closer to having raised not only a talented and beautiful child, but a successful one as well.

    i am a little envious of those 6 precious'. you two are amazing parents and are definitely a blessing to them as much as they are to you.

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  190. You should quit your day job and write novels, or poetry.

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  191. Ahh bless. You made me all teary-eyed! Life goes by so, so fast.

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  192. I'm dropping off my oldest at college on Friday. Your posting hit home. Where does the time go? And will these tears ever dry?

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  193. Lovely. Thank you for this - so personal, so tender, so sad and happy at once.

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  194. absolutely beautifully painted picture. you brougt me to tears. i am no where near that stage, but am expecting #3 myself and feel how fast its all going by. you are just amazing; as an artist, a designer, a poet, and a mother. you've pressed into such a delicate time in a mother's world. i love reading your blog. i love your fabric. thanks for sharing your heart. hugs mama.

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  195. beautiful. am i crying for you, or me?!

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  196. So poignantly and perfectly said. The longer we're in the game, it seems, the quicker life throws these transitions at us. I am so grateful that you shared. Thank you.

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